Let’s face it: cats can often be finicky eaters, especially when it comes to trying a new food. One day, they will eat all the food in the bowl...and the next day, they won’t touch it. When you begin your cat’s transition to raw feeding, you should expect some obstacles. The key is persistence and patience!
Because cats are imprint eaters, you’ll have the best results by introducing a raw food diet from the time they are a kitten. Cats are often sensitive to new things. As you start to introduce raw feeding, it is important to make a gradual transition.
It can take about three times as long to transition your feline to a raw diet when compared to a canine’s transition. If you follow the Three T’s of Transition with your cat, you are likely to have more success!
Taste – Texture – Temperature
First, you need to identify your cat’s preferences. Cats are imprint eaters, which means they learn from a young age to eat what is brought to them by their mother – or in this case, us. Once a cat has imprinted on food, they develop a strong preference for the taste, temperature, and texture of that food for the rest of their life. As such, it is important to keep the Three T’s in mind when transitioning your cat.
Everything about mealtimes matters. Do you feed dry food, wet food, or both? Does your cat accept cool foods from the refrigerator? Will your cat eat any type of canned food or just one type? You know your cat best, so use this knowledge to help you navigate the Three T’s. For example, if your cat enjoys room temperature canned food, a cold nugget from the fridge may be unappealing. This can be helped by mixing the nugget with warm water or Primal Bone Broth. If your cat does not mind cool foods or enjoys creamy textures like mousse, you can mix their nuggets with Primal Goat Milk. These are great tools to help with transitioning. Each has its own unique properties to help with digestion, which makes them even more powerful during this crucial time.
Use the charts below as a guide to help you create a new meal plan for your cat. Don’t be afraid to rotate through varieties. Though some cats may be finicky, cats can have a wide range of taste preferences – especially if introduced at a young age.
Because of the importance of moisture in your cat’s diet, we recommend hydrating diets when possible – especially freeze-dried diets.
Your cat’s journey to a raw diet should be a slow progression. To help them adjust to the new texture and flavor, we recommend that you combine 25% Primal with 75% of their current pet food for the first three days. After that, increase the percentage of Primal Pet Food by 25% every two to three days. Once your cat is familiar with raw food, you will be able to fully transition to 100% raw.
For cats who only eat kibble, start by crumbling Primal Freeze-Dried Food over top. While you slowly increase the Freeze-Dried Food and decrease kibble, start adding small amounts of water. It may take some time before your cat accepts their food with moisture added.
Another effective technique during the transitioning weeks is the sneak attack! Begin by placing a small bowl of raw food next to your cat’s current bowl of food. This allows the cat to smell the raw pet food while they eat their regular meal. Maintain this routine for two to three days, and then make your move: layer the raw pet food under their current pet food. Your cat will begin to ingest the raw pet food in their own time.
Consistency is Key
Once you choose a route to follow, stick to it! Be persistent and remember that it’s likely to take time. For your cat’s safety, be sure your cat never goes more than 24 hours without eating.
Use Primal’s great resources as a guide to help introduce your cat to a raw diet, such as our Feeding Calculator and Transition Portioning Guide. Your cat is one step closer to a wholesome, species-appropriate diet!